Nicaea,today, is largely in ruins, and these ruins are a favorite haunt of the Hoopoe. The Hoopoe is somewhat smaller in size than a pigeon, and has pale, yellow-brown feathers. The tail is touched with black and white, and it also has a large crest of black and white on the top of its head. Against the brown and sandy stone work of the ruins, the motionless Hoopoe is barely perceptible. It is only when it moves its head that one perceives its presence.
King Solomon is connected with an affair concerning the crest of a Hoopoe. It seemed that he wished to have an important message delivered and he had called upon all the birds of the air to come to his assistance. The Hoopoe was the first bird to come to the King and to take the message and deliver it safely. In return for its service, the King decreed that all Hoopoes from that time on should wear crowns.
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